Well, its the end of January, and what a month it was with the release of the #2018 Hot Wheels #Car Culture / Japan Historics 2. Several weeks after they started showing up at retail here in the United States, they are still flying off the pegs — or being bought by the case. It seems like either collectors are loving them (with their large & beautiful card art, premium castings with extra detail and popular genres), OR collectors are hating on them due to the $2 price increase ($3.50 to $5.50). Regardless of what side of the spectrum you are on, you have the admit, these are some well-executed cars — next up, Cargo Carriers!
In this mix of Hot Wheels #Car Culture / Japan Historics 2, lies the #First Edition of the #Nissan Laurel 2000 SGX casting — the car with the big backend. Referred to as “Pigs Butt” in some circles, the rear of this car is no joke. The rear’s very muscular design is so prominent that it was chosen by Hot Wheels Senior Packaging Designer, Julian Koiles to be featured on the packaging, despite the other four cars in the series being shown from the front end.
The Hot Wheels #Nissan Laurel 2000 SGX sits well with the other JH2 cars, especially with the Nissan Skyline C210 — another new casting. Just like the #Skyline, the Laurel’s best attribute may be its killer paint. This metalflake (dare I say it?) olive green seems to conform to every nook and cranny on the casting, and from a short distance away, makes this release shine like the gem it is. It was Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Steve Vandervate, who made the call to do the JH2 cars in solid colors and minor body graphics — with #GReddy and #Japanese Nostalgic Car logos — which allows for the added detail in the window trim and front & rear panels to really prevail. Since that added detail will be a staple of the #Car Culture line from this mix forward, I can only assume this was intentional.
For a casting with such great body lines — thanks to sculptor, Manson Cheung — this casting rides low and sleek, from front to back. I have heard several complaints about the small #Real Riders 4-Spoke Wheels that were used, but its my understanding that these are actually incredibly proportionate in the body to wheel ratio on that actual car. So whether you like them, or you hate them … or you are just somewhere in-between, don’t let unfamiliarity keep you from sleeping on the #Nissan Laurel 2000 SGX. I was given that advice, and I am politely passing it on to you. Happy hunting!